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Dee J. Kelly

Dee J. Kelly is a partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman and served as the firm’s managing partner from 2005-2016. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Administrative Law practice groups and serves on its executive committee. Mr. Kelly represents corporate and individual clients in a wide variety of business litigation in state and federal courts. Mr. Kelly also provides advice and representation to clients with matters pending before governmental and administrative bodies.

U.S. News and World Reports has included Mr. Kelly on The Best Lawyers in America® ranking every year since 2007. From 2003 through 2020, he was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. Since 2018, Mr. Kelly has been named to the Top 400 Most Influential by Fort Worth Inc. magazine and was voted by his peers as among the city’s best attorneys in polls conducted by Fort Worth, Texas magazine and 360 West.

Mr. Kelly is a master member of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court and vice president of the Center for American International Law. He is a trustee for Texas Christian University and for the University of Texas Law School Foundation. Mr. Kelly is also the former chairman of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, the Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Hall Performance Hall, the Fort Worth Symphony Association, The Gatehouse, the Fort Worth Zoological Association, the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Safe City Commission, Southeast Fort Worth, Inc., and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association.

Mr. Kelly was appointed to serve on the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee in 2013 and received a Presidential appointment to the United Service Organization in 2004.  Mr. Kelly was recognized as the Distinguished Citizen of Fort Worth in 2014 by the Boy Scouts of America.

Mr. Kelly is a lifelong resident of Fort Worth, Texas, where he resides with his wife Dana and their three daughters.
Experience and highlights
Lead trial counsel in many complex litigation matters including:
  • Representing major transportation company in a wide variety of matters including litigation over protection of intellectual property and online distribution rights
  • Successfully defending class action suits involving public company disclosures and securities violations
  • Representing public and private oil and gas companies in a variety of contractual, environmental and personal injury disputes
  • Representing municipal governments and elected officials in a variety of matters;
  • Representing companies in disputes over employee theft, conversion of business opportunities, and fraud claims
  • Active appellate practice before local, state and administrative courts
Affiliations and honors
  • Tarrant County Bar Foundation
    • Board of Directors, 2015-2021
    • Sustaining Charter Fellow
  • Center for American and International Law
    • Board of Trustees, 2006-2021
    • Vice Chair, 2015-2021
  • Texas Christian University, Trustee, 2018-2021
  • University of Texas Law School Foundation, Trustee, 2014-2021
  • Cotton Bowl Athletic Association
    • Executive Committee, 2021
    • Board Member, 2008-2013, 2018-2021
  • Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Performance Hall
    • Finance Chair, 2021
    • Board of Directors, 2016-2021
  • Fort Worth Symphony Association
    • Executive Committee, 2018-2021
    • Board Member, 2010-2021
  • Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show
    • Executive Committee, 2018-2021
    • Board Member, 2004-2021
  • Van Cliburn Foundation; Board Member, Executive Committee, 2010-2021
  • Fort Worth Zoological Association Executive Committee, 1990-2021
  • Safe City Commission
    • Treasurer, 2021
    • Board Member, 2005-2021
  • Southeast Fort Worth, Inc., Board Member, 2017-2021
  • Worthington National Bank, Board Member, 2007-2021
  • The Gatehouse, Board Member, 2017-2021
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Court Advisory Committee, 2013-2019
  • Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce 
    • Board Member, 2010-2017
    • Board President, 2015-2016
  • Streams and Valley 
    • Board Member, 2002-2017
    • Board President, 2004-2006
  • All Saints Episcopal School
    • Board of Trustees, 2006-2014
    • Board President, 2007-2013
  • Trinity Improvement Association, Former Chairman, 2008-2012 
  • United Way of Tarrant County, Former Board Member, 2009-2012
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, U.S. News & World Report, 2007-2022
    • Administrative / Regulatory Law
    • Commercial Litigation
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2021
    • Business Litigation
    • Civil Litigation:  Defense
  • Top Attorney, 360 West magazine, 2017-2021
    • Government and Administrative Law
    • Commercial Litigation
  • Named to The 400 Most Influential by Fort Worth, Inc. magazine, 2018-2021
  • Top Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine, 2006-2021
    • Civil Law & Litigation
  • Top Attorney, 360 West magazine, 2018-2020
    • Corporate Counsel
  • Dallas Best Lawyers® Administrative / Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America®, 2014
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2014


  • United Service Organizations, Board of Governors, 2004-2007

  • Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2013-2018
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • The University of Texas, B.A., with honors, 1982
  • State Bar of Texas, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
Dee Kelly Named 2020 Texas Super Lawyers